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Revel F206 Tower Speaker Review

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 3 1.0%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 11 3.6%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 87 28.3%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 206 67.1%

  • Total voters
    307

amirm

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This is a review, listening tests, EQ, and detailed measurements of the Revel F206 Floor-standing speaker. It is on kind loan from a member (new) and costs US $1347.50 each.
Revel F206 Floorstanding Tower Speaker Review.jpg

Please excuse the mobile phone picture quality and plastics that are still on the speaker. I try to keep products as fresh as possible. The port is in front and not much in the back other than binding posts.

NOTE: Our company, Madrona Digital which is in the business of custom system integration is not in retail business but we are a dealer for Harman products including Revel. If I am not mistaken, the owner actually purchased this speaker from us. My measurements are standardized and no changes where made for testing of this speaker but feel free to read whatever level of bias you like in my subjective comments.

If you are not familiar with my speaker tests, please watch this video first:

Reference axis was that of the tweeter.

Revel F206 Speaker Measurements
As usual, we start with our suite of speaker frequency response measurements:
Revel F206 Floorstanding Tower Speaker Anechoic Frequency Response Measurement.png

On axis response is (by speaker standards) essentially flat with a small peak around 4.5 kHz and minor dip around 200 Hz. There is also a bit of directivity error. For a non-DSP speaker, this is quite good. The port tuning is a bit low which I am starting to appreciate as it avoids room modes making the speaker too bass heavy:
Revel F206 Floorstanding Tower Speaker Near-field driver Frequency Response Measurement.png


You get extension into deep bass, going as low as 30 Hz.

Early window response is smooth:
Revel F206 Floorstanding Tower Speaker early window Frequency Response Measurement.png


I was very impressed in the way it all sums up to such a perfect predicted in-room response:
Revel F206 Floorstanding Tower Speaker Predicted In-room Frequency Response Measurement.png


Directivity is not fully controlled but is wide which should give the kind of spatial effects I like:
Revel F206 Floorstanding Tower Speaker Horizontal Beam width Frequency Response Measurement.png

Revel F206 Floorstanding Tower Speaker Horizontal Directivity Frequency Response Measurement.png


The inclusion of mid-range gives more freedom as far as vertical listening axis is:
Revel F206 Floorstanding Tower Speaker Vertical Directivity Frequency Response Measurement.png


You buy a tower speaker with multiple drivers to get extra power handling/lower distortion doing it. And that is exactly what you get from F206 (and then some):
Revel F206 Floorstanding Tower Speaker Relative THD Percentage Distortion Measurement.png


Revel F206 Floorstanding Tower Speaker THD Distortion Measurement.png


Notice the superbly low distortion in 1 to 2 kHz. We are talking distortion that is at least 65 dB lower than the response itself!

EDIT: Please don't run with the frequency responses shown in these graphs. They are near-field and not representative. But are fine for showing levels of distortions since the protocol is always the same.

Output gets a bit reduced at 102 dBSPL:
Revel F206 Floorstanding Tower Speaker early window Frequency Response vs SPL Measurement.png


The reduction in the upper band is unlikely to be an issue as your ears would be ringing by then. :) And drop below 90 Hz is to be expected.

Edit: forgot the impedance plot:
Revel F206 Floorstanding Tower Speaker Impedance and Phase Measurement.png


I left the step response floor low to show more resonances:
Revel F206 Floorstanding Tower Speaker CSD Waterfall Measurement.png

I probably shouldn't have as I can't see that in the frequency response itself at 900 Hz.

Finally, here is the step response:
Revel F206 Floorstanding Tower Speaker Step Response Measurement.png



Revel F206 Listening Tests
As you see from the review picture above, speaker was too heavy to lug upstairs to listen in my 2-channel room. So it had to fill a very large space with a lot of harsh surfaces. First impression was, "man this thing sounds good and familiar!" I know, being a Revel speaker owner myself, that is to be expected but still, it was there. :) I don't put a lot of weight on this part of the test though. I like to EQ (usually on-axis response) and then do an AB so I did:
Revel F206 Floorstanding Tower Speaker Equalization EQ.png

The bass fill is tricky as the room modes are still active there and for all we know, there may already be a boost there. Still, I adjusted that by ear. Same for the 4.5 kHz. Before and after was subtle but the signature with EQ was warmer bass and overall response. Without it, bass was tighter but highs a bit more forward. I suspect in any kind of controlled testing, it would be a draw as to whether EQ or stock sound is better.

Once there, going through my reference tracks delighted me across the board. So much so that I kept listening while the dogs looked at the speaker with annoying emotions! :) I closed my eye and the impression/halo of the sound was quite large which I like.

I was pleasantly surprised by the sub-bass response. Not only the F206 played them, but almost kept them 90% clean. There was just the slightest hint of distortion. More than acceptable. No 2-way bookshelf comes remotely close to this level of performance.

I ran out of amplification power before the speaker had any audible limit/distortion that I could detect. By then, I could barely hear my wife trying to tell me something. :D

Conclusions
We expect excellence from Revel and that is exactly what we get from F206 speaker. It is near perfect in all measurements despite its reasonable cost for such a stylish speaker. Subjective performance was better than I was expecting, truly giving me a "mini Revel Salon 2" experience. It has captured a special place in my heart for combining so many factors together so successfully.

I am going to highly recommend the Revel F206 speaker. But again consider potential sources of bias in my impressions per preface note.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

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thewas

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A really good loudspeaker especially for that US price which we can we living in Europe only dream of.

I would only nitpick a bit of the widening of the directivity above 3 kHz and the corresponding little bump of the sound power there which in my experience and room can cause some fatigue to me but nothing that an EQ cannot fix like also Amir did.

1712833131827.png
 
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AdamG

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I’ll take 2 Sir. I have subs that will make these baby’s shine! Crossed at 100 Hz to avoid some of the distortion at higher spl. They are very nice to look at as well.

Thank’s Amir for another fantastic Review! Mr Robot…
 

rynberg

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Nice to see these speakers on the Klippel as these have been my mains for almost 3 years now. On the poorer (harsher) recordings, that little bump around 4.5 kHz makes itself known at louder volumes; other than that, I have basically no complaints about these speakers. The vast majority of the time they just disappear with very natural sound and a huge soundstage.

Update: and these are the kind of data that show why towers are useful in home theater (or loud music listening). A 2-way bookshelf+sub does not keep up with a tower+sub. :)

1712792483818.png
1712792541841.png
 
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goldark

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These are my bedroom speakers and they just sound right. I dialed in a room curve with a big sub-bass boost that gradually lowers to neutral as you enter the lower mids. Sounds great for bass heavy tracks with its deep clean bass performance. You might not need any more speaker than this, to be honest.
 

TankTop

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I’ve decided to start saving for a proper pair of floor standers. I know these would compare very well to the ascend acoustics but what would be the differences in real use? I prefer a slightly more forward sound and a “wall of music”, which might achieve this a little better?
 
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The Driver Components graph has the mid ringing at 5.5 khz,..how come this ringing doesn't seem to me to be showing in the Decay graph?
Much thanks to the member that sent these! :)
 

rynberg

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There are definitely 2-way bookshelves that can keep up with the F206's THD >100Hz.

THD <100Hz doesn't matter once you add a sub.
Apples to apples...feel free to show the data from a pair of bookshelves at $2,200/pair with distortion matching the F206.

Also, THD<100Hz doesn't matter with a sub is a bit of a silly statement. First of all, 80 Hz is a much more common and usable crossover point and isn't a brick wall...the mains are only down 15 or so dB at 40 Hz.
 
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Aah, make that, I'm curious if you use 100hz xover point with your subs close by whatever speakers you're using?
 

Mikig

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man this thing sounds good and familiar!
how nice when you can say it!!! one of the most beautiful sensations: you turn on the system, the music starts, your foot starts keeping time and you notice a smile appear on your face...thank you Amirm for your time and for the review!

PS there's only one little problem: here they cost double
 
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